2021 Online Pacemaker finalists

Top collegiate online sites announced

ACP Pacemaker competition names 31 finalists
as ‘the best of the best’

Sept. 17, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS — The Associated Collegiate Press has recognized 31 online news and magazine sites as finalists in the Online Pacemaker competition.

Pacemaker finalists will be recognized and the Pacemaker winners announced virtually at 6 p.m. ET Thursday, Oct. 14, during the Fall National College Media Convention.

“The Pacemaker is the association’s preeminent award,” executive director Laura Widmer said. “ACP is honored to recognize the best of the best.”

The 37 online finalists represent 17 states, the District of Columbia and a Canadian province.  California set the pace with nine finalists, followed by Florida, Texas and North Carolina each with three.

Of the 31 finalists, 14 will earn Pacemaker honors. 

Online sites from two-year and four-year schools competed in separate divisions. There are three two-year schools and 28 four-year schools honored as Pacemaker finalists.

Within the four-year school category, websites competed against those from colleges and universities with similar enrollments.

To select the finalists, respected professionals including professors and current digital media professionals analyzed, discussed and rated each entry.

“Today’s best online sites are platforms for rich multimedia storytelling,” said Gary Lundgren, associate director and coordinator of the Pacemaker competition. “Deep and diverse coverage with strong engagement and interactivity distinguish the best student-produced sites.” 

In this competition, only the online product was judged. Print newspapers compete in a separate Pacemaker competition. The are 12 online sites also earning Pacemaker finalist recognition for their print newspapers.

Finalists are alphabetical by state.

Two-year colleges

el Don

Santa Ana College
Santa Ana, California

Editors: Julian Reynoso,
Carrie Graham

Advisers: Charles Little,
Sarah Bennett

The Corsair

Santa Monica College
Santa Monica, California

Editors: Jack Hughes, Carolyn Burt, Allie Leeds, Deshawn Pouper, Romelin Barrios, Johnny Neville

Advisers: Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, Gerard Burkhart

The Et Cetera

Dallas College Eastfield Campus
Mesquite, Texas

Editors: Mattheau Faught, Chantilette Franklin, Jordan Lackey, Harriet Ramos

Advisers: Sarah Sheldon, Lori Dann, Elizabeth Langton

Four-year colleges

The Auburn Plainsman

Auburn University
Auburn, Alabama

Editor: Jack West

Advisers: Brit Bowen, Billy Ferris

The Daily Bruin

University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California

Editor: Melissa Morris

Adviser: Abigail Goldman

The Occidental

Occidental College
Los Angeles, California

Editor: Staff

Adviser: Barbara Thomas

The Graphic

Pepperdine University
Malibu, California

Editors: Makena Huey, Rowan Toke

Advisers: Elizabeth Smith, Courtenay Stallings

The State Hornet

California State University, Sacramento
Sacramento, California

Editor: Max Connor

Adviser: Stu VanAirsdale

Mustang News

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Editors: Sabrina Pascua,
Stephanie Zappelli

Advisers: Pat Howe, Jon Schlitt, Brady Teufel

The GW Hatchet

George Washington University
Washington, D.C.

Editor: Sarah Roach

Adviser: Michael Zuckerman

Distraction Magazine

University of Miami
Coral Gables, Florida

Editor: Gianna Milan

Adviser: Randy Stano

Spinnaker Media

University of North Florida
Jacksonville, Florida

Editors: Darvin Nelson, Heydi Ortiz

Adviser: Maureen Baker

The Columbia Chronicle

Columbia College Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

Editors: Mari Devereaux,
Brooklyn Kiosow

Advisers: Curtis Lawrence,
Travis Truitt

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois

Editors: Sneha Dey,
Marissa Martinez

Adviser: Stacia Campbell

Indiana Daily Student

Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana

Editors: Caroline Anders,
Jacob deCastro, Emily Isaacman, Tristan Jackson

Adviser: Jim Rodenbush,
Ruth Witmer

The Ball State Daily News

Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana

Editor: Zach Piatt

Adviser: Lisa Renze-Rhodes

The Daily Iowan

University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa

Editors: Sarah Watson,
Kelsey Harrell

Adviser: Jason Brummond

The University Daily Kansan

University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas

Editors: Nicole Asbury, Liam Mays

Adviser: Rob Karwath


Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, Kentucky

Editor: Max Zambrano

Adviser: Sam Oldenburg

The Michigan Daily

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Editors: Parth Dhyani, John Grieve, Claire Hao, Naitian Zhou

The Ithacan

Ithaca College
Ithaca, New York

Editor: Madison Fernandez

Adviser: Michael Serino

The Daily Tar Heel

University of North Carolina-
Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Editor: Anna Pogarcic

Adviser: Erica Perel

The Chronicle

Duke University
Durham, North Carolina

Editor: Matthew Griffin

Adviser: Chrissy Beck

Elon News Network

Elon University
Elon, North Carolina

Editor: Mackenzie Wilkes

Adviser: Kelly Furnas


University of Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma

Editor: Jordan Miller

Adviser: Seth Prince

The Daily Pennsylvanian

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Editors: Max Cohen, editor-in-chief; Isabella Simonetti, president

Adviser: Deborah Howlett

Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Temple University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Editor: Christopher Malo

Adviser: Brian Creech

The Rice Thresher

Rice University
Houston, Texas

Editors: Ivanka Perez,
Rishab Ramapriyan

Adviser: Kelley Lash

The Breeze

James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia

Editor: Katelyn Waltemyer

Advisers: Brad Jenkins,
Ryan Parkhurst, Roger Soenksen

The Collegian

University of Richmond
Richmond, Virginia

Editors: Olivia Diaz, Emma Davis, Jackie Llanos, Nina Joss

Adviser: Robert Hodierne

The Daily

University of Washington
Seattle, Washington

Editor: Mac Murray

Adviser: Diana Kramer

EMERGE Magazine

University of Guelph-Humber
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Editors: Alyssa Alibaksh,
Kedice Jones,
Melissa Lopez-Martinez

Adviser: Kimberley Noble